Famously, nodding your head in Bulgaria means “no”, while shaking means “yes”. Well, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. But there are different patterns in the ways people pay online as well – make sure you are ready to handle all of them!
1. Credit cards are everywhere
True, it seems that everybody nowadays has this little piece of plastic. Actually, according to creditcards.com, 73% of American households do. 66% of Polish people has some sort of a bank card. There are 169,000,000 cards in issue in Great Britain. And a huge WOW for China, where there is 4,200,000,000 bank cards in circulation. It is not surprising, then, that for a successful e-commerce business accepting credit card payments is a must. However, as creditcards.com reports, consumers don’t always use the cards the same way. Apparently, the Chinese prefer to use their billions of credit cards for big time spending, while Australians are more likely to pay their utility bills with a credit card.
So how to make sure that clients actually pay on your website? Give them choice! There are other payment methods besides credit cards.
2. Direct debits – universalized novelty
August 1st has seen the raise of SEPA Direct Debit Scheme – a payment method that’s somewhat between credit card payment and a transfer. Fundamentally, it’s a wire transfer. But it has certain functionalities of a credit card. Merchants may request a transfer from the client’s bank account at a given time provided that they received a signed mandate from the client to do so. On the basis of the mandate (depending on its type, though) an individual payment or a recurring one may be initiated. German-speaking clients will certainly be pleased if you offer them that solution. It a well-trusted payment method in Germany and Austria. It operates, however, in the entire SEPA area.
You’re trading tulips or windmills? This is an option for you. A widely used payment method in the Netherlands is iDeal – nothing else than a universal system of bank transfers. It puts together all the Dutch banks and allows the clients to pay online within their bank’s environment and the payment details already complete. Polish Payments function the same way for customers with a bank account in Poland. Though they may seem dated in the age of digitalization, bank transfers are still well trusted in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Poland.
It is quite difficult to say what exactly PayPal is. It’s a giant. Available globally, it offers payment options to those with an account at PayPal. Clients do not input their personal data, credit card numbers and bank details – all they need is their email address and password. The simplicity of it convinces many, however, in some countries (such as Poland) PayPal is more popular with paying for goods rather than services.
So what to do in the end? Offer everything and believe that the more the merrier? Or narrow the payment options down and hope that customers will be determined enough to adapt to the choice they are presented with?
First of all, research your target – try it, test it and see who your customers are and how they are willing to pay.
Then see what you can get – pay attention to what payment methods are offered within the same account with your payment provider. Make sure what fees are applicable – is there a minimal processing limit to be reached? Is there an annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly fee irrespective of the transaction processed?
Finally, get back to the client – monitor the behavior of your customers – see what is popular and what isn’t – be sure that you’re one step ahead of their expectations and ready to change.
You should also read: How to Use Subscriptions (Recurring Payments) in Your Business